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    Advice on Avoiding Degree Mills

    Asked Jan 22, 2007, 04:29 AM — 6 Answers
    When signing up for any kind of higher education program, especially online, you must ask yourself if you are entering a Degree Mill program.

    There a number of questions you should always ask yourself:

    Is the College accredited with a lawful body ?
    Is the course load right for the subject you are studying ?
    Are they asking for a large sum of money upfront ?
    Does the site look too polished to be true ?
    Does Google produce any independent information about the staff and facilities ?
    Does it all sound too easy?

    Here's a great piece from Oregon Office of Degree Authorization: Office of Degree Authorization - Diploma Mills

    One of the best pieces I have found is an excellent presentation from the University of Illinois: Degree Mills presentation A MUST READ !!!

    Don't get caught with an over priced, worthless piece of paper.

    If you wish to go into higher education make sure you do your homework first.
    On the whole "Life Experience" diploma's are scrap paper.

    I hope this has proved useful and opened your eyes to the scam that is Degree Mills.

    Last edited by Curlyben; Jan 22, 2007 at 04:36 AM.
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    6 Answers
    shygrneyzs's Avatar
    shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936
    Uber Member
     
    #2

    Jan 22, 2007, 06:45 AM
    Thanks for posting this. Maybe this will help all those who ask about the online schools.

    Another caveat about degree mills is to find out even if your state acknowledges the particular "school", "university" or "certification" that grants the diploma.
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    sovaira's Avatar
    sovaira Posts: 271, Reputation: 10
    Full Member
     
    #3

    Apr 17, 2007, 10:38 PM
    Curlyben,. you have done a great and probably the best job here .
    Because many students like me as well are these days browsing university sites and banging there heads... and not keeping in mind all those conditions that u have informed of.
    Thanks again.
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    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,166, Reputation: 1844
    Admin & Wine Expert
     
    #4

    Aug 31, 2009, 11:10 PM
    What is most telling is what can be found on their sites.
    It's now possible to earn affordable
    ACCREDITED DEGREES!


    • No Studies
    • No Attendance
    • No Waiting
    • No Examinations
    • No Hefty Fee
    Now how can you earn a degree without studying or even being examined in the subject you are studying ?

    A degree is an academic title conferred by universities and colleges as an indication of the completion of a course of study, or as an honorary recognition of achievement.
    Now normally to satisfy these conditions testing of the students knowledge is required. Normally this is in the form of examinations.

    Now to move on to Almeda and the others of this group.
    There's a number of very interesting pieces about these 'universities', but I'll post the simplest ones so you can understand.
    All links taken from Wiki:
    Almeda; Belford; Rochville.

    While it is true that there are some unaccredited universities that award recognised degrees, this is NOT true for all of them.
    More information concerning unaccredited universities.
    The most telling part of this piece is the degree mill warning signs:
    Not every unaccredited school is a diploma mill - all schools start unaccredited. These are some of the warning signs which may indicate a diploma mill:

    * It lacks accreditation by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, especially if it is accredited by an accreditation mill.
    * Words denoting a legal status such as "licensed", "state authorized" or "state-approved" are misused to suggest an equivalence to accreditation.
    * The address is a postal box or mail forwarding service.
    * Promotional literature contains grammatical and spelling errors, words in Latin, extravagant or pretentious language, and sample diplomas.
    * Degrees can be obtained within a few weeks or months from the time of enrollment, back-dating is possible.
    * Faculty members hold advanced degrees from the institution itself or similar organizations.
    * Academic credit is offered for life experience, and this features heavily in the selling points of the institution.
    * Tuition and fees are paid on a degree basis rather than on a per-semester, per-quarter or per-course basis.
    * Prospective students are encouraged to "enroll now" before tuition or fees are increased, or they qualify for a "fellowship", "scholarship" or "grant".
    * It has no library.
    * Doctoral theses and dissertations are not lodged with the Library of Congress or other national repository.
    * The school's website looks amateurish or unprofessionally made.
    Well as Almeda ticks a number of these, I'm sure I don't have to continue.
    Thank you for your time.
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    abcdf's Avatar
    abcdf Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #5

    Aug 8, 2010, 07:10 AM

    Thank you curlyben, for these valuable information.

    Thanks
    Shlomo
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    quinton87's Avatar
    quinton87 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #6

    Aug 23, 2010, 08:55 AM

    I must say I think there is nothing wrong with a life experience degree. It only serves to recognize what you have already achieved in life. And most certainly, just as you pay for the ambiance in a restaurant (not just the food), you have got to pay a fee for the assessment tests they have developed in order to ensure certain quality standards. My transcripts from my previous university were even returned to me along-with my new degree by my institute.
    Degree mills on the other hand, are very different as they show you sample certificates and just mail them to you without any assessment etc.
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    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,639, Reputation: 1706
    Uber Member
     
    #7

    Aug 23, 2010, 09:18 AM
    I guess the issue lies in how the life experience degree is viewed by a potential employer. I assume if the employer is not familiar with the institution named in the résumé they will do some research and find out what kind of institute it is.
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